Sega and the Nintendo Console War: A Brief History

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The Xbox vs PlayStation rivalry will be at its height this fall. But long before the siblings argued over Microsoft or Sony, the console war was fought between Nintendo and Sega.

Today, the premiere of CBS All Access feature documentary, Console wars, spill it all Company tea from the 90s (Espionage! Intrigue!). Let’s take a quick leap into the past.

Sega declares war on thumbs

Nintendo was the Regina George of the gaming industry until Sega entered gamers’ hearts at the turn of the 90s with Sonic the Hedgehog, the Genesis console, and an ad campaign that claimed its 16-bit graphics supremacy: “Genesis does what Nintendo doesn’t”.

When Nintendo and Sega both came out Mortal combat in 1993, Nintendo traded sweat for blood. Both versions of this game have sparked criticism that video games inspire real-world violence and have brought both companies to justice.

  • The companies spent two years before congressional committees denigrating each other’s technology, but that resulted in the creation of a gaming review entity.

Sega fought well, but Nintendo landed the knockout in 1996 with the N64 console. That same year, the CEO of Sega of America resigned, and in 2002 the company ditched consoles altogether to focus on making games.

To find out more, watch the documentary or read the acclaimed book by Blake Harris.

Bonus Info: Was Sonic or Mario the first video game character to have a balloon during Macy’s Thanksgiving parade? Answer at the bottom of the newsletter.

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